Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Congratulations Daniel Morris on a job well done

Daniel Morris, Governor’s School of Math Science upcoming senior, joined the SmartState Center team for a 6-week internship this summer. The goal of the internship was to conduct an independent research project under the mentorship of the Center. Daniel’s stated area of interest was in economics and tourism. He chose to focus his research on increasing African-American tourism in South Carolina, a complement to a project that the team is currently working on in partnership with the SC Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.  Daniel spent much of his time this summer analyzing secondary research and the existing qualitative data available through the Center to calculate his research findings. Throughout the summer he diligently followed a standard research protocol that culminated in an impressive research poster presentation on July 15th, 2016. Congratulations Daniel on a job well done! 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Changing a negative destination image: The case of Myanmar

In 2012-13, Myanmar, a country labeled by the US government 10 years before as an outpost of tyrannylaunched a nationally coordinated tourism branding campaign for the first time in decades. The purpose: to change forever a negative destination image.

A new article fresh off the press from Simon Hudson tracks the history of destination marketing in Myanmar, and focuses on these new branding efforts. Through a theoretical lens based on image theory, the paper uses a case study approach to explore how a country such as Myanmar can alter a prolonged negative destination image. The analysis shows that although marketers in Myanmar are moving beyond a cosmetic approach to destination branding, the long-term strategies in place to improve Myanmar’s image could be called into question. The country faces many challenges, including a lack of trained human resources, and insufficient public services and infrastructure for tourism, so the journey to rebrand Myanmar as a competitive tourism destination will be a long one. Dr. Hudson will present the paper at The University of Surrey’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management Conference next week. The article itself appears in the Journal of Destination Marketing & Management and is online first at:

Monday, July 11, 2016

Ritzy Riads Putting Morocco on the Map

I have just completed an incredible round-the-world voyage teaching on Semester at Sea, and one of the countries I visited was Morocco where, seeking to understand why the country is Africa's most popular tourist destination, I interviewed two successful entrepreneurs - one French and one British - responsible for attracting tourists to this exotic destination. Both have opened up modernized riads in the beachy-chic resort of Essaouira, on the Atlantic Coast. You can find out what they had to say by reading the full article at: